Rich Newton

I am a semi-retired architectural draftsman with 13 years of actual construction experience.  I also have many years of experience building structures on paper as a draftsman.


When I was at First United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, I went to Panama two times on mission trips. The first time we mixed and poured a concrete slab foundation for a future church. The second time we closed in the area below the parsonage of a local church which was on concrete block piers in order to make Sunday School classrooms.


Last year when the St. Luke Youth staff was planning a trip to Mexico to build a home for a family I distinctly heard God call me to go.  It was during my morning devotional that the youth mission trip came to mind.  As I was thinking about the mission trip I distinctly heard an audible voice ask, “WHY DON’T YOU GO?  I responded and said, “They won’t let me go.”

This was my thinking because I am single and have no children in the youth program. But the next words that I heard were, “DID YOU ASK?” I responded “No.” The next words that I heard were, “WELL ASK?”  So I responded, “Ok, I will ask.”

So I set up a meeting with Rev. Beckum, and Mitch Watts and told them my experience with God for it could be no one else. It was agreed that I could go. The rest is history.

I have never heard God speak to me in such a direct manner before and I may not ever again.  But the experience of going on last year’s Mexico Mission trip had a profound effect on me.  So much that I want to go again this year.  The vision of the impact that we made in the life of that family will last forever.

This year I hope to be able to lend my construction knowledge and skills in the blessing of another family in need and share the love of Christ. I have been blessed to be a blessing.  God willing this year’s trip will be a success just like last year’s.


Your prayers and tax-deductible gift will help support this team member’s ministry this summer and further the mission of St Luke UMC Mexico Mission in Ensenada, Mexico. Give below, or send a check payable to St Luke UMC, PO Box 867, Columbus, GA 31902 (include the team member’s name in the memo line).